Friday, 12 December 2008

Episode # 15 - Ally McLean & Conor Costigan

This week we look at the possibility of introducing summer rugby and look ahead to Boroughmuir's game with Melrose on Sunday.

You can download the podcast via iTunes, or by clicking here.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Home Comforts

It was cold on Saturday. It was very, very cold. And given the way the result ended up it was pretty damned miserable too. Last season we scraped to victory at Edinburgh Accies via an injury time Elgan O’Donnell penalty, this year we got thoroughly pasted; I don’t think I like Raeburn Place anymore. In fact, I just don’t think I like travelling away from Meggetland this season.

And judging by results, I don’t think the team does either. Boroughmuir have suffered five defeats so far this season; Malleny Park, Millbrae, Philliphaugh and Raeburn Place. Only Heriot’s have plundered the points at Meggetland, if we were granted a season of home games by the SRU, we’d have the title wrapped up by Christmas.

That’s why I fully expect that we’ll avenge the Malleny defeat this coming weekend by turning over Currie on our own patch. The players seem to be much freer in their game on familiar turf and in the past season and a half, only that defeat against Heriot’s in October has blemished an otherwise perfect record.

Of course, this aversion to bus trips is a disease which has shown its head only this season. We have already this campaign lost twice as many away trips as we did in the whole of last season. Only Watsonians at Myreside (when the title was all but won) and Melrose at The Greenyards (when it had long been in the bag) saw ’Muir succumb to defeat; it’s the fine line between that title glory and mid-table misery.
What it does point towards is that we may well be set for a good run in the cup. All we need is a run of home draws and nobody will be able to stop us!

Episode # 13 - Angus Martyn & Stuart Waddell

In this week's podcast we talk to 1st XV players Stuart Waddell and Angus Martyn and take a look at how Scotland have done in the Autumn internationals.

You can download the podcast via iTunes or by clicking here.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Episode # 12 - Rory Couper & Calum Cusiter

Episode 12 of the BRFC Podcast sees us talk to 1st XV stars Rory Couper and Calum Cusiter, as well as taking a look at how both the 2nd XV and Meggetland got on last weekend.

You can download the podcast via iTunes, or by clicking here.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Episode # 11 - Mark Furnivall

This week we talk to Boroughmuir WebMonkey Mark Furnivall about what he thinks of the 1st XV and Scotland's Autumn internationals.

You can download the podcast via iTunes or by clicking on this link.

Episode # 10 - Gerry Dryburgh & John Saunderson

This week we talk to Gerry Dryburgh and John Saunderson about Meggetland's season so far.

You can download the podcast via iTunes or by clicking on this link.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Blind Faith

So, if I thought losing against Heriot’s sucked, just exactly how bad was the Ayr game? It’s a question I’m not sure I want to answer, I don’t think I could do it without swearing more than Gordon Ramsey.

Instead, let’s focus on the potential for victory against West of Scotland at the weekend. The Milngavie side are level on points with us after eight games – I have to admit I’m surprised by that as I pegged them and Stirling for the drop this season, just shows you what I know.

They’ve certainly had some impressive results, including their defeat of fellow new boys Selkirk last week, and though they came pretty well unstuck at Millbrae, we all know that can happen to the best of teams.

Clearly, their success is purely down to the fact that they’ve been blinding the opposition with their kit. Seriously, it looks like something Stade Francais might sport if they were a bit more outlandish. I mean, I know West have their traditional colours (though who first put them together should be ashamed) but their version for this season does seem slightly over the top in the brightness stakes.

Having said that, and despite our form over the past two weeks, I’m fully expecting victory at Meggetland. Let’s face it, we need it. And I simply can’t believe that a group of players as talented as those we have can play so very badly for three games running.

I suppose it might be foolhardy to rely on blind faith, but if we lose I think I might have a few more things to worry about that me looking a bit stupid. And these players have done things over the past twelve months to engender a bit of blind faith, it’s the least they deserve for the memories of winning that league trophy. Now they just need to prove me right.
Photograph ©

Friday, 17 October 2008

Episode #9 - Bob McKillop, Mark Hare & Andy Hadden

In Episode 9 of the BRFC Podcast, we have reviews of the action from last weekend as well an interviews with Heriot's coach Bob McKillop, Scotland U-19 centre Mark Hare and returning 2nd XV fly-half Andy Hadden.

You can download the podcast via iTunes or by clicking here

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Losing Sucks

I don’t like watching Boroughmuir lose. That may seem an obvious thing to say, but it’s something I’ve become less and less used to over the past year and a bit. Indeed, the last time we lost at Meggetland was back in early 2007, so watching the boys capitulate against Heriot’s on Saturday was about as disappointed as I’ve been since we got forty points stuck on us by Aberdeen some two years ago.

Everything seemed to be going fine at half time, even Senior WebMonkey admitted that the game was ours for the taking. Confidence is such a fragile thing though, particularly in Boroughmuir hands, and glaring missed chances either side of the break appeared to shatter everything that had been built up in the previous few weeks.

As Heriot’s barged their way back into the match, ’Muir tried harder and harder to get their foothold back, throwing passes out of tackles and trying to run from everywhere. When it comes off, it looks spectacular, but the harder they tried against the Nails, the further and further they got from a coherent game.

That shouldn’t take away from Heriot’s performance in the second half. Their back row got in the faces of their Meggetland counterparts, and it’s very rare that such a unit will leave Meggetland thinking they’ve come out on top of the battle, such is the fearsome reputation that ’Muir’s loose forwards have built themselves.

This would also be a prudent time to issue my second apology in as many weeks. Before the match I was expressing an opinion that I felt Heriot’s winger David McCall wasn’t up to much if you avoided giving him any space. Remembering him from his Stewart’s Melville days, he was fast as lightning but didn’t have the guile to go with it.

Well, time spent with the Edinburgh bunch has certainly taught him a thing or two. There was one run in the first half when he appeared to have run out of space on five or six occasions, only to spot a gap and dance his way through it. It was a run that really deserved a try, but luckily Greg Cottrell wrapped himself round McCall’s legs and hung on for dear life.

Crowning his performance with two typical wingers’ scores was at very least what McCall deserved from the day, just as five points were exactly what Heriot’s deserved from their cross-city journey, if just for the ability they showed to take a chance when they found it. The only solace that can be taken from the defeat is that, the last time it happened this season, we bounced back in the very next game to score sixty-odd points. It’ll be very difficult to repeat that in Ayr, but a man can hope.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Episode #8 - Greig Scott & Greg Cottrell

In Episode 8 of the BRFC Podcast we have news of the Colinton Derby against Watsonians and interviews with Greig Scott and Greg Cottrell, as well as news of a TV deal for Scottish Club Rugby.

Apologies to Mark Ross, who would also have featured on this week's episode had I remembered to turn the mic on when interviewing him. Mark's dulcet tones will make their appearance in the coming weeks.

You can download the podcast vis iTunes or by clicking here.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Notes from Myreside

There are three things on my mind this week.

1) Apologies to Greig Scott. Video evidence suggests his sprint to the line for his try against Watsonians was more in the region of forty-five yards than the thirty-five suggested in my match report. As a forward who doesn't get the ball over the line too often, I'm sure Greig will be claiming every one of the hard yards his gangly legs carried him.

On the subject of Mr. Scott, it's great just to see him back playing. There was a time during his spell out when I wondered if he might go the same way as another lock forward at the club, Ally Ness, but he's shown great spirit to overcome his shoulder problems and right now he's playing as well as he ever has.

Like the rest of 'Muir's forwards, he had a wonderful game against Watsons. They systematically took their Myreside opponents apart and by the end of the game had a level of domination that was, quite frankly, staggering. I wasn't sure under the new rules whether it was going to be possible to see one side drive another back some thirty metres via superb use of the rolling maul, but that's exactly what we saw about an hour into Saturday's match. It was an example of just how superior 'Muir's pack were on the day.

2) When, as they did on Saturday, Boroughmuir play well and show a distinct superiority over their opponents, the Senior WebMonkey starts acting like the Energizer Bunny on crack. Seriously, he bounces around more excited than an eight year-old with ADHD, but it is nice at least to see that it all matters so much to the old man.

During the games he takes notes on a Dictaphone, from which I later write the match report. If it's clear from early on that 'Muir are going to win, and from the time Ed Mills cut a perfect angle to finish off Greg Cottrell's searing break on Saturday, it was that clear, his notes become more and more infused with hyperbole as the match progresses. By the end of the tape I was expecting to hear, "Bring on Toulouse, we'd take those French numpties, nae problem."

3) The refereeing performance during the match on Saturday was, shall we say, baffling. It was noted by more than a few people during the match that the three WebMonkys (Auxiliary Monkey joined us after he finished work) were none too amused at some of the decisions made by Mr. Healy of GHA; we each yelled ourselves horse at the Baldy Whistler.

I'm in no way accusing the man of being biased, I'm sure that if I were a Watsonians fan (perish the thought) I would have been just as stumped in trying to fathom some of his decisions in 'Muir's favour, but there were some absolute shockers.

I could sit here for hours and list some of his bizarre calls, but it'll suffice to say that I think both Ed Mills and Neil Malloy were unlucky to be shown yellow cards - though not as unlucky as Joni Hare, who didn't even get on the pitch but had Bill Lothian reporting that it was he, not Malloy, who was sent to the sin bin - and I was never aware that there was an offside line in open play. In fact, I'm pretty sure there isn't. Maybe I'm wrong though, it could just have been an ELV that the IRB forgot to announce.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Episode #7 - Brian Richardson & Tom Bury

For the return of the BRFC Podcast, we take a look at how each team has done during September, and in particular the 1st XV's triumph over Hawick in the Hugh Macmaster Trophy.

We talk to Brian Richardson and Tom Bury about how the season has panned out so far, and ask what they think ahead of the derby clash with Watsonians on Saturday.

Download the podcast here or via iTunes by clicking on the 'subscribe' button.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

A World Without a WebMonkey

It was a strange experience, watching Boroughmuir without the Senior WebMonkey beside me. Since we began work on the website in December ’99 there can’t have been more than a dozen games we’ve not attended together. I suppose we could be thought of as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, though I tend to think of us as Dumb and Dumber.

Of course, the fact that I got to see ’Muir hand out a thumping lesson to what was a relatively young Glasgow Hawks side in many ways made up for the strangeness. Had I been presented with another match as soul-crushingly disappointing as the Currie game, I think I’d have felt a lot more jealous of the Mediterranean sun beating down on the WebMonkey’s balding bonce.

For most of the first half I thought we might be in for another slice of defeat pie, we seemed to be making a lot of the same mistakes, although at least not in the same quantities. And had the referee not obviously thought he was in charge of a football match and played a, quite franky, ridiculous amount in injury time, we might not have got the chance to learn the lessons we did.

The main of those lessons was that, when we execute our basics well, we can exhibit pace and power that is difficult to live with. During the second half we held onto passes more often than not, the ball carrier was well supported and the possession quickly recycled and we averaged a try every 5.7 minutes. OK, so you won’t get that high a return every week, but as we proved last season we will at least give ourselves every opportunity to win.

I think the most surprising thing about the weekend, however, wasn’t the realisation of just how much work it takes to get the website done when you’re doing it alone. It was the shock of hearing the result from the Ayr-Watsonians game. Don’t get me wrong, the fact that Ayr won at Millbrae wasn’t a surprise, it was the nature of just how they jamspangled a Watsons side which included international lock forward Jim Hamilton. To be honest, I don’t see Selkirk keeping up the pace they’ve set on their return to the top flight, but if Ayr get a couple more wins under their belt then they’ll have to be considered the most serious of contenders.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

For God's Sake Catch the Ball

I honestly can’t remember a time when I saw Boroughmuir drop the ball more than they did against Currie. Honestly, I reckon the egg hit the floor more often than in the entire of last season. I hope some araldite has been applied to the hands of certain players in preparation for the Hawks match.

I went along with a fair dose of optimism. OK, we hadn’t been perfect against Accies and the weather wasn’t exactly as we’d have liked it but even the Prophet of Doom wasn’t particularly vocal – which is about as close as he ever comes to optimism. The two wins against Currie last season were amongst our more straightforward, and after the chastening experience of having eighty points put on us two years ago, I was convinced we wouldn’t let it happen again.

If I’m being truthful though, some might say a bit harsh, it was as bad a performance this time around as it had been back in Currie’s title winning year. The significant difference in the score line, for me, was largely down to the fact that the hosts are far from the level they reached back then.

The game was the first appearance of the season for my brother, the ‘auxiliary’ Webmonkey, who is generally charged with picking up ‘interesting’ camera shots. He’s usually a good omen as well. In his most recent appearances he’s seen wins over Ayr, Hawick and Watsonians, so his presence was another notch on the optimism belt.

Given the result, however, he’s been issued with a three match ban. We need wins over the next few weeks to ensure that we don’t fall too far behind and we can’t take the risk of him being an bad omen. So the earliest we could see him again would be the trip to Myreside – though I might try to think of some excuse to keep him away from that one as well.

Hawks this week will be tight. It always seems to be so against the team I somewhat see as our West Coast counterparts. Like us they always try to play good rugby, and now with Peter Wright in charge there’s even more reason to like them. And without the Prophet of Doom for the next few weeks either – he’s been sent away to the south of France – I’ll get to watch the match in unobstructed optimism, it’ll be a disconcerting experience.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Episode #6 - Bronson Ross, Kevin Brown & Stuart Waddell

In episode 6 of the BRFC Podcast we look at the first week's action for both the 1st and 2nd XV whilst reporting on the final pre-season match for Meggetland.

Download the podcast here or subscribe via iTunes by clicking the button to the right.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Get This Party Started

There was, it has to be said, a certain amount of excitement around the house on Saturday morning. Despite the return of The Prophet – who was naturally predicting a defeat, albeit a narrow one – even the Senior WebMonkey was looking forward to his regular weekend rugby fix again.

We had a new addition to the team, our two year old, desperately excitable Springer Spaniel, Milo. I think the idea came about purely because my mother wanted to make him a little scarf from Boroughmuir tartan. She reckoned it would be ‘cute’. I reckoned he’d just bark to buggery and make a nuisance of himself.

To be fair to the scamp, he did himself proud and so, perhaps more importantly, did the team. OK, so there was an error count which would have justified shouts of derision from the touchline had it been produced by a team of five year olds but there were also moments of outstanding quality. Moments that suggested the side were ready to pick up just where they left off last season.

Like everyone else, I was delighted with the win, even more so when news filtered through that Melrose had been handed a bit of a spanking at Ayr. Even more pleasing, though was the weather.

For about the first time in this ridiculous excuse for a summer we’ve been having, we didn’t get battered with rain. When the time comes to put together the season review it’ll be nice to have footage of one week in the season at least when the action isn’t obscured by a curtain of water.

Judging by the forecast for Saturday, and the fact that the game’s at Malleny Park (I’m not sure I’ve experienced anything other than driving rain and a howling gale in the many years I’ve been to Currie’s ground) things should be back to normal for round two of the championship.

Some might say that will favour the home side’s big, marauding pack. I think we proved enough last season that we can compete with any team in any style if we get our game right on the day.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Episode #5 - Jackie Dodd & Davie Barr

Welcome to Episode 5 of the BRFC Podcast. This week we let the fans do the talking, long interviews with Jackie Dodd and Davie Barr covering everything from international tickets to their hopes for the season.

Mentioned in this week's episode:

Edinburgh Academicals Download the podcast here

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Here We Go Again

It seems strange that the league season is almost upon us already, just a few short days away. There hardly seems time to have savoured the building anticipation of pre-season. After just two warm-up games - circumstance denied us a third in Manchester - we're preparing to face Accies in the season opener, but it all seems just a bit too quick.

It's one area that I think football does better than our game. Obviously it's difficult in at an amateur level of the sport, but I'd have loved a good month at least of meaningless pre-season matches. I like to be driven to the very point of insanity before competitive action gets underway.

Nevertheless, here we go again. Our success of last season will no doubt make us the side that everyone is gunning for from day one. If Accies snatch a victory at Meggetland on Saturday then I reckon there'll be as much sniggering in clubhouses around the division as there has been in France at Toulouse losing their season opener to Montpellier. However, the target pinned to them should be something the guys are used to by now.

From the very early weeks of last season it became obvious that we were the team to beat and teams, I'm sure, upped their game when they faced us. Given that we overcame it last term, there should be no expectation that we can't do the same this time around.

It has become a cliché to say that defending a title is much harder than winning it first time around, but only because it happens to be true. When Rory Couper lifted the league trophy at Millbrae in January, it was only the third time that a 'Muir captain had got his hands on it, and never has the team gone on to claim the same success in the following year.

It is said to be the mark of great teams that they can sustain their success over a number of years. And, to my mind, though it may sound somewhat greedy, that is the challenge for the side this season. Obviously, from a playing and coaching perspective they are right to take it 'one match at a time' and not really set goals for the season, but as a fan I can't help but look at the big picture.

During my near decade involved with the club's website, I've seen us win plenty of silverware and create plenty of history (particularly in the national cup), but to see us crowned back to back champions, for Fergus Pringle to lift the trophy skyward come March, would top the lot.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Episode #4 - Alan Sievewright, Ben Fisher, Eamon John & Mark Hare

In Episode 4 of the BRFC Podcast we review the pre-season match against Tynedale and take a look at the Experimental Law Variations which will be trialled in the coming season.

After the win in Tynedale, the BRFC Podcast spoke to Ben Fisher and Mark Hare, whilst Alan Sievewright and Eamon John were asked to give their views on the law changes for the 2008-09 season. We also go through each law changes and the effects it could have on the game.

Mentioned in this week's episode:

Experimenal Law Variations: A detailed look at the changes can be found on the SRU website by clicking here.

You can download this week's podcast via iTunes, or by downloading from the club website

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

The Prophet of Doom (noun) a person who predicts the future: a prophet of doom.

I have to say, I was looking forward to Saturday afternoon. Travelling to an away game, 5 Live blaring out the latest sporting happenings (we were getting thoroughly over excited as His Royal Hoyness stormed to victory in the keirin), it felt like the rugby season was well and truly back. And just to clinch that feeling, a voice that I hadn’t heard since April piped up.

“I think we could get well beaten today.” The Senior Webmonkey had found his inner Prophet of Doom and was giving him an early outing, getting him properly warmed up for when the competitive action comes calling. To be honest, his pessimism before kick-off against Tynedale wasn’t out of order, there were some big names missing from the Boroughmuir squad.

Indeed, for once I agreed with the worrywart. With Gus Martyn, the Duchess, Charlie “No Socks” Keenan and Tom Bury missing, plus a good few others who featured regularly in the league winning squad last season, the smart money had to be on the Englishmen. Ten minutes in it looked like it could be worse than expected, but a few stirring fight backs later there were fifty points on the board and a win in the pocket.

What was strange about the game, however, was that it appears to have killed the Prophet of Doom. As we chucked all the Webmonkey equipment into the back of the car, a rare sound reached my ears.

“I’m going to hope now.” At first I thought I must have misheard, or that he must be faking it more than a Chinese gymnast’s passport. But no, all the way back up the A68 there were noises of optimism about the season ahead. I nearly passed out from the shock (or maybe it was just travel sickness from the ridiculously vomit-inducing road back north).

Needless to say, I expect a reincarnation of the Prophet to return in time for the game against Accies, I don’t think going to the game would be the same without it. Its become like a comfort blanket, a sign that another fun-filled Saturday of rugby action has arrived. If the Prophet really has died, I’ll shed a tear for its passing.

Friday, 15 August 2008

Episode #3 - Jamie Scott, Mike Baillie, Stevie Douglas & Stuart Clark

In Episode 3 we take a look at how Meggetland RFC are shaping up ahead of their debut campaign in East Division 1.

As well as taking a quick look at last night's friendly for Boroughmuir against Stewart's Melville, we talk to various members of the Meggetland squad and management to get an idea of how pre-season has been going and what their expectations are for the season ahead.

Mentioned in this week's episode:

Tynedale RFC

Stewart's Melville RFC

All music in this week's episode supplied by Kevin MacLeod at

From this week, the podcast is available via iTunes. To subsribe, click the link to the right of the page and then select, 'subscribe via iTunes'. ou can also download this (and previous) week's episode from the Boroughmuir website.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Episode #2 - Fergus Pringle, Calum Cusiter & Freddie Lait

Episode 2 of the BRFC Podcast has been released this evening.

This week we focus on the 1st XV and their preparations for the upcoming season. There are interviews with new club captain Fergus Pringle, scrum half Calum Cusiter and prop forward Freddie Lait.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Podcast Episode #1 - Show Notes

Today the first episode of the BRFC Podcast has gone live. With the redesign of the club website over the summer, we felt it was time to introduce some new features, and this is one of them. Episodes of the podcast will be released weekly, on a Friday evening, and will continue throughout the 2008-09 season.

At the moment, you can download the podcast as an audio file from the club website (a link is provided below) and in the near future it will be available through iTunes and ZenCast for automatic download each time a new episode is released.

In this episode, we look at the changes which have taken place at the club over the summer and sit down for chats with both Iain Paxton and George Clark. Please feel free to leave your comments and let me know what you think of the episode.

Mentioned in this episode:

* - Boroughmuir Rugby Club website

* – An excellent source of royalty free music and the providers of the music for the podcast.

Download the podcast here

Come on, entertain me

Go on, admit it, last season was a bit dull, wasn’t it? I mean, winning the league by thirty-odd points was very enjoyable, but where were the heart attack inducing nerves at the end of the season? Where were the games at the end of the season which define your season in eighty of the longest minutes you’ll ever experience? Meggetland got it right, win the title on the last day, away from home, against your closest rivals. That’s the way to do it.

Obviously I’m exaggerating somewhat, the way the side played last season was wonderful to watch and the confidence whilst travelling to matches that we’d be watching a win was a nice experience. However, once the title was won and the cup was lost I could barely muster enthusiasm for the remaining games. Accies and GHA at Meggetland where the worst of the lot. I was there, I cheered the lads on, but I don’t remember ever being quite as flat before a game before.

I’ve become sick of sodding cricket, tennis and golf over the summer months. I’m ready for the return of rugby, and before you mention it, I don’t get the Super 14. It’s become so much a cross between fifteen-a-side touch and rugby league that I really couldn’t care less, I couldn’t tell you with any certainty who won it this year – I’d have to guess at one of the Kiwi sides.

However, much as I’m looking forward to the new season and much as I want to see Boroughmuir do what they haven’t before and retain the Premiership title, I’d rather not see them do so in a season that leaves me bored two months before I should be. I have every faith in the coaches and the players at the club, anybody who wants to take our crown from us will have to perform to their very best every week to beat us, but I’d enjoy it more if we were travelling to Bridgehaugh in late March still needing to win to cement our rightful place at #1. Well, I’d enjoy it as long as we won, anyway.

Friday, 1 August 2008


Welcome to the BRFC Blog. Throughout the 2008-09 season I'll be posting weekly my somewhat irreverent thoughts on supporting Boroughmuir Rugby Club far and wide as they try to retain the SHE Premiership title. I'll also be keeping you up-to-date on the forthcoming 'BRFC Podcast', another weekly event which will include chat about the week's games and interviews with the good, the bad and the ugly of the club.

I'll also be posting an ad-hoc production diary about the trials and tribulations of filming a documentary which will be following the 1st XV through their season. It's the first time I've taken on something on such a grand scale, so they will doubtless be plenty of amusing failure to write about over the next nine or so months.I hope it'll prove an enjoyable read, click the 'subscribe' button to the right of the page if you want to be kept up-to-date as and when new posts are published through an RSS feed.That's all for now, save to say, "watch this space".